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Information literacy September 30, 2006

Posted by el fuser in information literacy, Information Management, journalism, Literacy and Education.

After leaping from studying the technological issues of supplying information in businesses to journalism, you might think that I what I learnt at university is now redundant. In fact I think it has alerted me to a serious issue that I would never have fully grasped otherwise.

Information literacy is the ability to search, evalauate and use information. It is an important topic for journalists for several reasons:

Firstly, they need to be experts in handling information to be competent in their job. This means being able to use Google in an efficient way, but also knowing about other resources like LexisNexis and Newsnow. It is also about being aware of new technology like blogs.

Secondly, although trust in journalists is incredibly low, paper and broadcast media are the first port of call for people who want information. It is easy to forget that being entertaining is the job, informing the public is your duty.

Thirdly, in the future, information literacy will be huge news in itself in the not too distant future. In the same way that those not able to read and write were excluded in the jobs they could get and were generally restricted in the way they participate in society, those who cannot use the Internet for information, shopping and work will fall behind the rest.
Lastly, a journalist is not fulfilling his duties if he is not campaigning for improved information resources (IT,libraries) in an area that needs it. Already we can get cheaper goods, more diverse media and unique entertainment from the Internet. Some people may never see these advantages and those that future bring without pressure on the government.



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